‘Pupils should be allowed to Google in exams,’ says exam chief

The Telegraph is reporting that an exam board head has suggested students should be allowed to use Google when sitting GCSE and A-level exams…

Mark Dawe, the OCR exam board chief executive, said introducing tools like Google or calculators will help teachers assess the way students draw on information and apply it to their learning…

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Dawe said: “Everyone has a computer available to solve a problem but it’s then about how they interpret the results. We have tools, like Google, why would you exclude those from students’ learning?

“Surely when they learn in the classroom, everyone uses Google if there is a question. It is more about understanding what results you’re seeing rather than keeping all of that knowledge in your head because that’s not how the modern world works…”

Despite his enthusiasm about the introduction of technology during examinations, he said this reality was at least a decade away in the UK…

More at: ‘Pupils should be allowed to Google in exams,’ says exam chief


I’m not sure how the practicalities would work, but is Mark Dawe right in principle here?

As we now have virtually universal access to Google in our lives, would it be more sensible to grant access in exams too and assess how candidates use and interpret the information?

An analogy is drawn in the full article with having access to books in exams, but in reality Google is much more prevalent in everyday life than happening to have the right text-book to hand so perhaps the arguments for inclusion are even stronger?

Tell us what you think in the comments or via twitter…


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Categories: Secondary and Technology.


  1. cherrylkd

    j_shepperd SchoolsImprove yes, I can see how it could work. On first reading it seems odd though. I’m digesting the thought slowly 🙂

  2. cherrylkd

    reebekwylie SchoolsImprove wouldn’t work in MFL. I have mixed views. Can see it working in some subjects & being wrong in others.

  3. redgierob

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove an opinion that is growing in popularity. It would certainly change the curriculum and the way we teach

  4. j_shepperd

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove my initial reaction was the same. Could be great to demonstrate certain skills and understanding.

  5. reebekwylie

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove I like Google as a tool, but if MFL not even allowed dictionaries in new exams, Google should defo not B there!

  6. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is not a completely silly idea. Knowledge required to google effectively & efficiently & also to dismiss rubbish

  7. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove If you want to prepare students for “real life” then in “real life” you would google something you didn’t know…

  8. irvingphil

    SchoolsImprove it’s a decade away because the last ed. minister was so backwards. Applicable modern life skills shouldn’t be excluded.

  9. pompeygeorge

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove it’s what they’ll do every other time in life afterwards. Exams just pub quiz memory tests.

  10. cherrylkd

    pompeygeorge SchoolsImprove Maybe so. But exams are a test of what they know, not what they can google. I could be persuaded either way.

  11. pompeygeorge

    cherrylkd SchoolsImprove exams are test of what they remember. That Govian kings & queens list. Real life is applying it.

  12. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove irvingphil andylutwyche This could be relevant in *right* exams with *right* questions. Can’t see place in Eng for example

  13. CromwellConsult

    SchoolsImprove Learning mastery =application, problem solving, evaluation, creative thinking are skills to be examined for future benefit

  14. jw_teach

    SchoolsImprove it is about having the skills to evaluate the results and gather accurate and informed knowledge.

  15. HyderDastagir

    SchoolsImprove A place for Google in exams?Perhaps but do we really want a generation who have to look everything up?

  16. HyderDastagir

    SchoolsImprove so for MFL understand the grammar but have to look all the vocabulary up on Google? What errant nonsense!

Let us know what you think...